27 April 2015 – Expansión
Auction worth more than €200 million / The Government is launching an auction process to sell a plot of land measuring 1.5 million square metres in Madrid, where the Chinese millionaire Wang Jianlin wants to construct luxury homes, hotels and casinos.
The Spanish Government has decided to refloat the so-called Operación Campamento just seven months before the general election. Today, the Ministry of Defence, the main owner of the land in the area measuring more than 1.5 million square metres, has officially put the plot, measuring 1,550,576 square metres, up for sale on the real estate portal Admeet.
The land, located in the south-east of Madrid, is the preferred location of the Chinese tycoon Wang Jianlin, owner of the business conglomerate the Wanda Group, to construct a mega-project containing thousands of homes, a retail complex, theme parks and casinos.
Jianlin, who officially closed the purchase of 20% of Atlético de Madrid’s share capital in January, has been negotiating with the Town Hall and Community of Madrid for months, to identify a location for his residential and leisure complex in the capital. Previously, in June 2014, he bought Edificio España from Banco Santander for €265 million, which was his first transaction in the Spanish market.
In January, when he signed the deal to acquire a stake in the Madrid football club, Jianlin took the opportunity to reiterate his interest in acquiring the land that is now up for sale. The plot housed the Ministry of Defence’s barracks in Madrid for many years.
Wang Jianlin is willing to invest €3,000 million in this project. To do that, the first step will be to acquire the land. By law, this purchase must be made through a competitive process since it involves a public asset.
“The interested parties must participate in a transparent and competitive auction process, in accordance with state legislation for the sale of property”, says the advert.
The auction of the land by the Ministry of Defence will be led by Pedro Morenés. The plot measures around 1.132 million buildable square metres and the vast majority has been marked for residential use (986,710 square metres). Subsidised and non-subsidised housing may be built on the site.
Wanda’s goal is to construct up to 15,000 high-end homes, with prices of around €4,000 per square metre. Moreover, offices, retail spaces and leisure complexes may also be built on the site. Wang Jianlin wants to use this land to create a leisure complex, similar to the ones he has constructed in Asia. For the time being, the Ministry of Defence has only released information about the land, and has not set a date for the auction or specified a minimum price.
However, sources in the sector estimate that the Government may set the minimum price at just over €200 million, an amount that is expected to be surpassed both by Wang Jianlin’s bid, as well as by the bids made by other interested parties.
The seller has not revealed the auction date, which may be determined by the timings of the local and general elections due to be held in May and November, respectively. To date, the current President of the Community of Madrid, Ignacio González, has shown his willingness to collaborate with the Chinese businessman, following the decision by the US billionaire Sheldon Adelson to abandon the Eurovegas project in Alcorcón.
Original story: Expansión (by R. Ruiz)
Translation: Carmel Drake